Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The inside of both the hood and trunk lid had wax residue. Yep, the original owner was even more OCD about car care than I am. Most of the wax is gone, the date is staying.
K&N air filter decal on the inside fender...
...the filter is present and clean.
An aftermarket, lighted rear-view mirror greatly enhances ease of use come nightfall.
Well-integrated with the rest of the "courtesy lights", switching on when the doors are opened.
A faded Miata Club Of America decal on the windshield:
Highlighted passages in the owner's manual:
The mystery box of bonus goodies:
OEM rear-view mirror and horn and e-brake boot (which was replaced with a leather aftermarket unit), OEM tape deck, front tie-down brackets and the unused front license plate holder. The radio will be refreshed, updated and re-installed on down the line.
Some of the sales and marketing materials that came with the car:
Car And Driver and Road & Track reprints, window sticker ($14,715 in 1991 + $1,800 "added dealer markup" - $26,100 in today's dollars), pre-delivery inspection checklist, etc.
And, after several hours of clay bar, polishing and waxing, I discovered underneath some lightly-oxidized paint was a more-than-respectable finish with some semblance of gloss:
End of Car Hunting posts. At least until I start the search for my next car...
Sunday, August 28, 2011
A few morning shots from the prairie before the fog burned off.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Okay, with some free time on a Sunday afternoon (and with Celeste out at a friend’s house), arrangements were made to check out the local Miata. The seller was located less than a mile away – a promising sign. All clean and tucked away in a sleepy Carlsbad neighborhood garage was a low-mileage base model ’91 Miata.
obviously *out* of the garage at this point
96,xxx miles, manual steering, no ABS, air conditioning or cruise control, crank windows and an aftermarket Sony removable cassette deck (remember those?). The paint and seats lightly faded, but mechanically everything seemed to be sound.
No oil or coolant leaks, fresh hoses, brakes and tires, a convertible top in good shape with a rear window that had been replaced a year prior.
And for the car geek in me, I was shown a thick envelope with original sales literature, the window sticker, manuals, receipts and the like.
The asking price was at the upper limit of my budget, but why not take it out for a spin. We hadn’t driven more than a quarter mile before Allison said “you’d be a fool not to buy this car”. I knew then-and-there that this car wouldn’t require much rationalizing or explaining on my part. Sold. We zipped around some of Carlsbad’s surface streets, briefly with the top up to help listen for any odd noises. Everything checked out – the suspension and steering was tight, the engine eager, transmission just about perfect and the brakes strong. Only a couple of minor creaks. Overall a very strong running and good-looking twenty year-old and affordable, fun car.
Being an airline mechanic, the owner truly seemed to care about his cars, had a neat garage and took pride in stating that he never let anyone else wrench on his rides. He had bought it from the original owner – a neighbor of his – last year, with the hopes that his daughters would drive it. However, they were not willing to learn how to drive a manual transmission, so he had to replace this car with one with an automatic.
Anyway, we came to a deal on the price with a promise on my end to return the next day with a cashier’s check. The ad was pulled from Craigslist by the time we returned home.To be continued...
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
And the videos, swimming under the pier with a GoPro HD camera: